“That’s just up to the school.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight.

James Wiseman, the top high school recruit in the country last year, is enrolled at Memphis and plays for Penny Hardaway.  Prior to signing, here’s the lead up:

And that’s what the NCAA is alleging happened when Hardaway gave Wiseman and his mother $11,500 for moving expenses when Wiseman relocated from Nashville to Memphis in the summer of 2017.

The NCAA considers Hardaway a University of Memphis booster because he donated $1 million to the school in 2008. According to the NCAA, that makes Hardaway a booster in perpetuity.

Does the NCAA shut down Wiseman from playing when he gets there?  After all, this looks pretty open and shut.

The answer is nah.  It waited until the first game of the season was just around the corner.  And from there, fun ensued.

First, prominent Memphis attorney Leslie Ballin conducted a news conference inside his 12th floor offices and announced that the NCAA had deemed Wiseman ineligible earlier this week and that he had filed a lawsuit on Wiseman’s behalf with the NCAA and the University of Memphis as defendants. A few minutes after that, a Shelby County Judicial Court judge granted Wiseman a temporary emergency restraining order that allowed Wiseman to play Friday.

About 10 minutes after that, at 5:17 p.m., Wiseman emerged from a black Sprinter van in the garage underneath FedExForum and ran inside the building. Just after 6 p.m., he was announced as a member of the starting lineup. By the second half, the NCAA responded.

The response?

“Likely ineligible”?  Boy, that sounds open and shut.

This is the lesson learned from the North Carolina academic scandal.  There are times when the best strategy is to simply brazen things out.  The NCAA doesn’t handle brazen particularly well.

It’s a pretty strong indication of how screwed up things are when the NCAA’s own membership — itself, in other words — is the resistance.


Filed under The NCAA

18 responses to ““That’s just up to the school.”

  1. Reverend Whitewall

    TFW you find out your coach is a rogue booster……and you fully embrace it. On the one hand I think they were dumb to play him, on the other hand I think they are smart to force the NCAA’s hand. Regardless, will be VERY interesting to watch how this plays out.


  2. Rampdawg

    11 and a half grand to move from Nashville to Memphis? Must of had a lot of stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Mayor

    I think the “we have met the enemy and he is us” schtick is a bit overly simplistic Senator. Emmert and his crowd are the enemy. The member institutions have learned that. The NCAA under Emmert is a paper tiger and folds when presented with resistance. Why shouldn’t Memphis just ignore the NCAA and proceed in this fashion. History shows that tactics like this work. You will recall this is exactly what I advocated doing in the Gurley autograph matter—get a TRO from a federal judge and keep playing him. Likely the case won’t be over until after the season. If you win or the case gets settled great! If you lose you can point to the TRO if the NCAA tries to strip you of wins.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Spike

    $11,000 to move ?


  5. Faltering Memory

    Can Emmert save face by letting Wiseman play with one hand tied behind his back?


  6. ApalachDawg

    two questions
    1) why would coach penny have to give mrs wiseman $11,500 for moving services? Why wouldn’t her company pay for her relocation? oh wait…
    2) Is Coach Penny a close family friend of the Young family?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. chopdawg

    Does it seem like the NCAA lets basketball players and their boosters get away with a lot more than football players get away with?


    • JCDawg83

      Basketball is the cash cow for the NCAA. March Madness generates the majority of the NCAA’s revenue. They aren’t going to put themselves out of business by enforcing their own rules. Major college sports have become as corrupt as boxing and horse racing.


  8. TXBaller

    Leslie Ballin a distant relative…..


  9. W Cobb Dawg

    Driver Emmert to Hardaway & Wisemen in back seat: “I’m gonna turn this car around and go right home if you don’t cut it out!” “Don’t make me come back there”.


  10. 69Dawg

    I think its becoming clear that the Power 5 and the Group of 5 are eventually going to break away and form a new association. Without these members the NCAA is toast.


  11. Brian McKnight

    I said it at the time and stand by it. This is what we should have done with Gurley. Played him anyway.


  12. Will (The other one)

    Meanwhile the Buckeyes are being honest, cooperating, and will likely be down their best defensive player for 4 games.


  13. CB

    McGarity would have suspended him in perpetuity


  14. Brazen it out. Yep, the Barn has been doing it for years and have mastered it.